Customer Review

19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars About as next gen as my toilet seat, 10 Jan 2014
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: FIFA 14 (PS4) (Video Game)
As a FIFA player for donkeys years, like many I don't expect to be amazed when the latest FIFA arrives on the scene. A game like this can only really improve so much it seems; every year they add a little tweak, or a gimmick, and market the whole game on that.

This year it is... *checks*... the Ignite engine. Basically players are supposed to move and act more realistically. Which is the minimum improvement I would expect from a football game really.

Anyway. I had reasonably high hopes for FIFA 14, with it being the first on the PS4. Maybe my hopes were set too high. From the minute the game thrusts you into the action, forcing you into a Barca vs Real Madrid title-decider whilst the game quietly installs in the background, you get a sense that things are maybe not quite so different as they should be.

The graphics don't look next-gen to me (not that I could accurately describe next-gen graphics, but these look just like PS3 graphics). The players have the same faces they had in '13, the commentary is for the most part unchanged, and aside from Sky Sports' Jeff Stelling being drafted in to try and add drama by introducing each match in Monday Night Football-style, it's hard to find what actually HAS changed. Oh, the crowds. The crowds look slightly more realistic and active - but this is 2014. 3D crowds were around on the old Smackdown games on the PS2. FIFA 14's 3D crowd is neither impressive nor ground breaking. Again, it's the least I'd expect from a PS4 game.

Staying on the subject of graphics, the cup-winning celebrations are still hopelessly rushed and tacky. The trophies that the players hoist aloft still look like cardboard cutouts, and the lack of enthusiasm from the commentary team just seem to turn any cup win into a, to use the cliche, damp squib. Why has this not been improved in so many years? There really is no excuse now, in a Playstation 4 game, I expect a trophy to look like a trophy, and not just a hastily sourced JPEG pasted over the player's outstretched arms, a la Microsoft Paint.

You may also notice the way the players' shorts appear to blow in the wind now as they emerge from the tunnel. I say blow in the wind - it's not exactly convincing. It just looks like someone is tugging at one side of their short leg. Perhaps this would have been better left out.

Gameplay wise, there's not much to say. It feels a little different, as every new FIFA game does. But it plays very much the same, the players move in the same manner and the referee is still a pain in the backside. Noticeably you cannot shoot off-balance quite so easily as the last game; trying to shoot first-time from a ball coming at your player's feet from an angle is likely to result in an embarrassing miskick that trickles lamely towards the goalkeeper. But that's fine. It's realistic, isn't it?

Throw ins are a little more life-like, in that your player is likely to be seen chasing after a runaway ball if they are chasing the game. This does occasionally result in comedy moments where the ball seems to have "a mind of its own" and the player glitches out inside the pitchside advertising boards. It seems FIFA's collision detection engine is still not quite as refined as one would expect of a modern game.

The menus are a little sleeker, and Career Mode has been given a facelift. It's the same game; admittedly there is more of a focus on the administrative side of management this year - expect to be organising a global scouting network, handling constant emails from backroom staff, and so forth. One welcome addition, it's worth pointing out, is the ability to reject an offer for a player, and effectively tell the bidder "and don't bother coming back cos I ain't selling him". Thus putting an end to any unnecessary speculation that previous FIFA games liked to falsify, even though you knew you were never going to sell him.

The loss of an offline tournament mode is likely to disappoint those who enjoy the party-game aspect of FIFA. I fail to see why it was removed, but then we were promised the Blue Square Premier league (English Conference to you and me), and that never materialised either.

All in all it appears to be a bit of a "what-if" offering from EA Sports. I suspect it will be several years before the full potential of the PS4 is realised - just look how long it took developers like Rockstar to produce San Andreas on the PS2 and GTA V on the now-ancient PS3. Perhaps EA Sports just need a little more time and experience with this technology to produce the first truly awe-inspiring FIFA in over a decade.

You don't need me to tell you to buy it, or not buy it. It's a new FIFA game. Of course you will buy it. But just don't expect to be wowed. This is anything but next-gen.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Jan 2014 20:01:32 GMT
J Morancie says:
I was gonna write a review but everything you said here is exactly how i feel & I'm glad somebody mentioned the shorts!!

Posted on 11 Jan 2014 21:06:19 GMT
The Good Guy says:
Great review - I tried the demo out and came away with similar thoughts whilst wondering whether the final release would be any different - Clearly not!
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